Daniel 5:21

21 1He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, 2until he knew that the 3Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will.

Daniel 5:21 Meaning and Commentary

Daniel 5:21

And he was driven from the sons of men
From their company, and from conversation with them; his madness was of that kind, that he chose rather to be with beasts than men; it drove him from men, and made him more desirous of being with beasts; or it was so intolerable, that his family, friends, and courtiers, were obliged to remove him from them, from his palace and court, and from all conversation with men, which he was incapable of through his frenzy and madness: and his heart was made like the beasts;
to have the same affections and desires as they have; to crave the same things they did, and like what they liked, and live as they lived: or, "he put his heart with the beasts" F24; either Nebuchadnezzar himself chose to be with them, and delighted in a beastly life; or God did it; he put such a heart into him, or so disposed it, that it became brutish; though to read the words impersonally, as before, seems best: and his dwelling was with the wild asses;
in a wilderness or field; or rather in some enclosed place, in one of his parks, where such creatures were kept for hunting; among these he dwelt, as being like them, having lost the use of his reason, and so was become stupid and sottish as they: and they fed him with grass like oxen;
as they are fed, and which he chose above any other food: and his body was wet with the dew of heaven;
being without clothes, and lying naked in some open place all night: till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and
that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will:
till he came to his senses, and was brought to see and own the sovereign dominion of the one, true, and living God, over all the kingdoms of the earth, and that they are at his dispose; ( Daniel 4:32 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F24 (ywv atwyx Me hbblw) "cor ejus cum bestiis posuit", Vatablus, Calvin; "animum suum cum bestis posuit", Cocceius.

Daniel 5:21 In-Context

19 And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled.
20 But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him.
21 He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will.
22 And you his son,Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this,
23 but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.

Cross References 3

  • 1. [Daniel 4:25, 32]
  • 2. [Daniel 4:25, 32]
  • 3. [See ver. 18 above]